A little earlier than most years, the apples were ready to process no later than today.
Russ shakes them off the tree with his apple tree hook, into a 5 gallon bucket and then takes the apple peeler/corer to them. There is a mixing bowl for the apples (perfect for a one gallon baggie finished measurement) and a pan for the peels and cores. The peels and cores go into the compost pile.
Because there were 5 yellow zucchini and 2 yellow crookneck squash from Chris and Dan which all needed to be blanched and frozen today, too, it was a hectic few hours.
The pasta pan serves for blanching apples and garnering Russ' favorite beverage, homemade apple juice! There's not much making to it, though. I steam the peeled and cored apples and the steaming water plus apple juice that drips through the inside colander are then cooled and put in water bottles in the fridge. The smaller quart and a half pan on the back burner is the squash blanching pan. Rather than blanching all in a dutch oven, this smaller stainless steel one is just right to pack pint-sized freezer baggies. Today's haul? 5 pints of squash, 5 water bottles of apple juice, 8 gallon baggies of steamed apples.
Yesterday we were talking about how we love the country aspects of our lives. We both wish the Wisconsin farm had still been in the family when we were married. That was the one thing that would have taken us directly to live in Wisconsin. Russ had the experience with cattle while I had rabbit, chicken, horse and sheep experience. The gardens, pastures and fields would have been wonderful in the warmer weather. In the winter? That could have been a problem; but, we'd have overcome it to farm together.